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Short-Term Rentals (STRs) & AirBnB

"Welcome to Raleigh Ya'll, you're all welcome to come but you'll have to stay at a hotel." This is the message that our "Council of No" conveys by saying they don't want STRs here. A short-term rental(STR) is the term used to describe businesses like AirBnB, which operate in Raleigh. Currently whole home rentals are banned and having a STR is heavily over regulated by the city council.

Why though? The major fear being that STRs will take over affordable housing from homeowners and businesses alike. How do we prevent this from happening like it has in New Orleans? Modest regulations on STRs for starters, and then we can modify as more data presents itself.

STRs do not take up affordable housing units. Those units would have to be willingly used as affordable housing. It's this sort of absurdity that sets up road blocks for innovation, entrepreneurship, and prosperity in our city. Here's what STR's do for Raleigh:

  • Home owners bringing in extra revenue. Has there been a time when you needed or wanted to bring in extra cash to help your finances? Car repairs, bills, or even just wanting to live a better lifestyle are reason enough for some.
  • Raleigh Hospitality. When folks come to Raleigh, we want to put on a good face and show everyone that people in our city are welcoming. An STR allows citizens of Raleigh to show hospitality that is unseen in most hotels.
  • Availability for prospecting relocation or work. Raleigh is growing every day and it will continue to grow. People will be wanting to move here from all over and staying in a hotel can get downright expensive and is pretty cookie cutter everywhere you go. If you are looking to relocate then an STR is great because it will most likely be cheaper and closer to the areas you're looking for. STRs also help with work as well. Traveling nurses, for example, wish to come to Raleigh but have voiced a concern about the lack of rental options for their time limited contracts. STRs are perfect for them as well!

Public Opinion

After the healthy housing meeting on 27 November 2018, many hosts showed up to voice their opinions on why we should allow whole home rentals, as well as neighbors that want more restrictions. The take away from that meeting is the same as the bullet points listed above but also, whole home rentals offered a different experience though. Here are some highlights on why we should allow whole home rentals and also some restrictions to place on them:

  • Privacy - Sometimes you don't want to see anyone in the house besides yourself or your fellow guests. You want some privacy. Not everyone wants to meet the host. Some just want a place to vacation without having to be restricted to a small room or having to deal with lots of people at a hotel.
  • Options - Raleigh can be costly to stay at, spending $2-300 a night at local hotels. Being able to have a room or a whole home to rent for a night or more can give plenty of options for everyone at a much more reduced rate. This is money that is going back into the local economy.
  • Safety & Maintenance - All short-term rentals, not just whole home rentals, must be kept up to code at all times inside and out. The safety of the renter is paramount. All STR's will need to be inspected to make sure they are safe to be rented. The exterior of the rental will need to be maintained as well. This means that the lawn must be mowed, clean from trash and debris, & maintenance must be performed to keep the exterior tidy and presentable.
  • Parking - This is a very large issue with whole home rentals. I propose that each STR host must designate parking for the guest(s) and shall not exceed two parking spots on a street with size permitting. Parking must be designated and enforced so we do not push out our own residents.

My Plan For STRs/AirBnB

  1. Establish a $50 yearly permit for partial home/$100 for whole home STRs that allows for a registry and a yearly inspection. The inspection would cover basic safety compliance and to make sure the building is up to code. The permit will be issued by the city, not the Raleigh City Council.
  2. Use data based decision making to establish a minimum distance between STRs, if necessary.
  3. Put all funds generated towards Code Enforcement to pay for inspections and to address complaints.
  4. Parking will be created by the homeowner on site or not exceed past the length on the property on the street.
  5. Establish a "3 Strikes" policy for repeat offenders.

Committee to Elect James Bledsoe
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